MOUSS Executive Committee

Midwinter 2002 Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 22, 2002
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Present: Gwen Arthur, Dan Barkley, Gary Cornwell, Susan Curtis, Anna Donnelly, Betty Gard, Joanne Halgren, Mary Hollerich, Lisa Horowitz, Rebecca Johnson, Cindy Kaag, Brett Lear, Lars Leon, Cynthia Levine, Lori Morse, David Null, Ellen Safley, Diana Shonrock, Dave Tyckoson, Mary Ellen Tyckoson, and Lynn Wiley.

Board members and committee/discussion group chairs introduced themselves.

Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved as submitted.

Approval of Minutes, Annual Meeting June 19, 2001

The minutes were approved with the following corrections:

  • The spelling of Anna Donnelly's name should be corrected on the last page.
  • The last sentence under the Fee-Based Reference Services Committee report (pp. 2) should read: "Committee members' terms will be extended due to the committee having been temporarily inactive prior to 2000."

MOUSS Committee Reports

Services to Adults (Elenore Kilpatrick).
Not present.

Library Service to Aging Population (Berkley Laite).
Not present.

Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award (Joanne Halgren).
They received an excellent group of nominees and will be reviewing them via conference call in the next two weeks.

Catalog Use (Cindy Levine).
The CUC met twice during the conference. Their first meeting was a vendor forum on Sunday which was attended by approximately 50 people. Four vendors discussed their partnerships with libraries and addressed a list of questions which were posed to them in advance. John Hepner attended their second meeting to discuss section review and the CUC's plans for upcoming activities such as discussion forums and/or programs.

Cooperative Reference Services (Susan Curtis).
They are awaiting feedback from the RUSA Publications Committee regarding a survey they conducted on the types and mechanics of cooperative reference service initiatives among libraries that belong to a consortium. The CRSC is proposing a program for 2003 which would address issues related to marketing digital reference services in consortia and would like to include representatives from both public and academic library consortia.

Evaluation of Reference and User Services (Lisa Horowitz).
They have begun to work on the development of guidelines for evaluating reference service statistics and held a discussion forum on Saturday to solicit input on what those guidelines should address. Approximately 130 people attended the discussion forum. The Committee has been asked by RUSA Board to investigate the possibility of redefining reference service philosophy, but they are also considering the idea of redefining the reference transaction. They are continuing preparations for a preconference in Toronto which will recreate a popular program previously done at the RUSA Institutes in Indianapolis and Baltimore.

Fee-Based Reference Services (Lori Morse).
The Committee met Sunday afternoon with David Null to discuss section review. They are continuing their work on an annotated bibliography of fee-based services.

Interlibrary Loan (Lynn Wiley).
The ILL Committee heard reports from various liaisons and working groups at their Monday meeting. They have a number of working groups devoted to specific issues such as UCITA, licensing issues, and the ALA ILL form. The Committee also discussed their plans for programs at the 2002 and 2003 conferences. The ILL Education Subcommittee is working to develop a web-based seminar for those new to ILL, but there are many other educational opportunities that could take a variety of formats. One such possibility is a pre-conference which Committee would like to hold in 2003 because there are many issues of interest to both U.S. and Canadian ILL librarians. IFLA has contacted the ILL Committee to solicit nominations for a liaison to its Document Delivery and Interlending Section. The Electronic Document Delivery Guidelines Subcommittee reported on its progress in revising the 1993 Guidelines and Procedures for Telefacsimile and Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan Requests and Materials. AALL will be endorsing the 2001 National Interlibrary Loan Code.

Management of Reference (Betty Gard).
They are updating the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Professionals and hope to have a draft by January 2003. Emphasis will be placed on developing guidelines for various types of remote reference and an effort will be made to solicit feedback from as many sources as possible.

Nominating (Michael Havener - not present). The slate for 2002 has been approved and a nominating committee for 2003 has already been appointed and started working on a slate of candidates.

Organization and Planning (David Null).
The members met with various other MOUSS groups during the conference to discuss section review. They also discussed the section's goals and objectives.

Bessie Moore/Thorndike Press Award (JoAnn Radioli).
Not present.

Research and Statistics (Eric Novotny).
The Committee reviewed proposals for the 2002 Reference Research Forum. The Committee sponsors the Reference Research Forum each year to promote and foster discussion on significant new research in the field. From the submissions received three speakers were selected to present their work at the 8th Annual Reference Research Forum, to be held Sunday, 1:30-3:30pm, Georgia World Congress Center, Room A403. The committee members also assigned journals to monitor for the annual publication Reference Research Review, an annotated bibliography highlighting selected research articles appearing in the library literature. Current and past bibliographies can be found online at the committee's web site.

Services to the Spanish Speaking (Brett Lear).
The committee discussed two documents that need revising, neither of which has been revised in over 10 years: 1) "Guidelines for Multilingual Materials," and 2) "Guidelines for Library Services to Hispanics." A draft of the multilingual guidelines was submitted to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines committee at Annual 2001, but a few changes will need to be made before it is approved. The committee will work toward having a revised draft ready for Annual 2002 and will work on revising "Guidelines to Library Services to Hispanics" in 2002.

Michael Dowling of the International Relations Office has approached the committee about possibly creating a "best book" list of materials in Spanish. REFORMA has expressed some interest in partnering with them on this project. Many details will have to be worked out, such as whether they will read each book in its entirety or rely on pre-existing reviews, which formats (books, CD-ROMS, web sites, videos, etc.) will be considered, and whether the list will include materials for children.

MOUSS Discussion Group Reports

Interlibrary Loan (Lynn Wiley for Marilyn Grush).
The ILL Discussion Group had a very successful meeting on Saturday morning; 3 practitioners gave presentations on various ILL topics, followed by small group discussions reacting to the panelists. The chair and vice-chair are working with the ILL Committee to formalize the discussion group format and to distinguish its content from the liaison reports given at the ILL Committee meetings.

Performance Issues for Reference Librarians (Dan Barkley).
They are setting up a 3-person steering committee to provide some continuity in leadership and will focus on performance issues as they relate to various guidelines.

Reference Service in Large Research Libraries (Paul Constantine).
Not present.

Reference Service in Medium Sized Libraries (Sharon Womack).
Not present because the group meets concurrently with this meeting. John Hepner mentioned that he has posted the group's minutes from 1995-present on their web site.

MOUSS Representatives to RUSA Committees

Access to Information (T. Echavarria).
The Access to Information Committee held a discussion forum on patron privacy and approximately 25-30 people attended this lively discussion. In the subsequent business meeting, the AIC received an update on intellectual freedom issues, discussed program ideas for 2003, and discussed the following documents:

1) Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality,, and

2) Draft Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Privacy

ADA (Emilie Smart). Not present.

Conference Program Coordinating (David Null).
Null reminded everyone that programs for Toronto must be approved by Annual 2002 in Atlanta, and he encouraged everyone to solicit co-sponsorships with sections of the Canadian Library Association. There are six preconferences approved for Toronto, but because these are seen as good sources of revenue, there is no limit to the number that can be offered. MARS is sponsoring a preconference in Atlanta which will be presented again in Toronto. MOUSS has had one preconference for 2003 approved so far, but the ILL Committee is also submitting a proposal for review by the MOUSS EC later in this meeting.

Membership (Rebecca Johnson).
The committee met and discussed ways to improve their web site, such as posting an electronic version of the Directory of Peer Consultants, and further increase membership which is already up 4% over last year. They discussed the possibility of creating a virtual membership which could cost less but members would receive all ALA publications electronically. The suggestion was made to solicit library school students as committee interns in order to get them involved.

Organization (Ellen Safley).
The Committee would like written input from MOUSS regarding its experiences with virtual committee membership. MARS is creating a new committee or discussion group pertaining to virtual/digital reference service.

Planning and Finance (Lars Leon).
The Division's revenues are down approximately 20%; consequently, RUSA is looking for creative ways to generate additional revenue and cover expenses. Additional preconferences, which typically generate about $3500 each, are a possible source of new revenue. The Division may also attempt to trim expenses slightly by phasing out the Past President's breakfast or publishing the Directory of Peer Consultants in electronic format only. Hepner expressed some concern about this because the print version is distributed to all ALA chapters and they view this as a valuable resource for identifying qualified speakers. The electronic version is available through ALA's members-only web page; if it were made more publicly accessible, an electronic version might be greatly appreciated.

Publications (Marie Radford).
Not present.

Standards and Guidelines (Eric Novotny).
The Committee has some concerns about the Guidelines for Library Services to Hispanics, as this document is long past due for updating. The MOUSS liasion to Standards and Guidelines (Eric Novotny) is working with Brett Lear on this document. Novotny will also contact the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee to discuss their project to develop guidelines for evaluating reference service statistics.

RUSA Board Report (G. Arthur)
ALA members are reminded that they will need either a passport or some other form of picture ID for the Toronto conference.

The Board is planning a program for 2003 entitled "The Future of Reference Initiative." They are collecting information on future trends in reference and brainstorming ideas for speakers and topics. It could evolve into a program as well as a subsequent publication.

They approved in principle the document entitled "Principles for the Networked World".

The Reference Album Task Force is collecting information about reference web sites and is seeking additions to the site. Contact RUSA if you are interested in helping with this project.

According to the ALA Washington Office, a number of librarians have expressed concern about government web sites that seem to be disappearing. It appears some governmental agencies are simply pulling random pages off their sites, and ALA is preparing a resolution on this issue. If you notice this happening, please contact the ALA WO.

The U.S. Department of the Interior experienced problems with their web site recently and had to take down their entire site because of security concerns regarding Native American financial records. This is unrelated to the concern described above because there was good reason for the Department of Interior to take down their site, and the pages relating to National Parks and the Geological Survey are already back up.

Arthur reported on the "Retreat Results" document. One outgrowth of the retreat is that MARS and MOUSS are jointly discussing issues of mutual concern, such as the possible creation of a general or front line reference section, organizational overlap between the two sections, and specific committee activities.

MOUSS Section Review

(D. Null) Null described the section review process and anticipated timeline for completion. Some notable trends so far include:

Concern regarding yet another name change for MOUSS.
How specific services would be represented in the new section (e.g. ILL, services to aging populations or the Spanish-speaking)
Three committees appear to be struggling for somewhat different reasons: a) Fee-Based Reference Services efforts' sometimes overlap with those of the ILL Committee, b) Services to Adults is having difficulty finding its niche because all MOUSS groups focus on adult services, and c) Library Services to the Spanish-speaking has struggled in the past but might still expand its current membership and revive some activities.
When it is ready, Null will send out a draft of the report to all committees. The Organization and Planning Committee will review our goals and objectives after the section review is completed.

A long-standing concern that has resurfaced in the course of section review discussions is the perception among ALA members that RUSA and MOUSS are primarily focused on academic library services; consequently, we will make a concerted effort to get more public library involvement.

Both MARS and MOUSS will be reviewing the name, purpose, and focus of their respective sections, and each section will appoint representatives to the RUSA Organizational Task Force. Dave Tyckoson suggested that the MARS and MOUSS Executive Committees meet as a group to discuss their organizational structures and overlapping committee interests. Hepner suggested that the two sections might consider joint committees following the MARBI model. Lear recommended that MOUSS might improve its visibility within ALA by producing more publications, teleconferences, bibliographies, etc.

Other Business

The ILL Committee submitted a proposal for a preconference at the 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto. Wiley reviewed the proposal details; the EC approved it in broad concept with the understanding that it will be refined by the annual conference in Atlanta.

We discussed the pros and cons of an all committee meeting. Horowitz noted that the tables were too small to accommodate larger committees (e.g. their committee has 12 members plus visitors but the tables only seat 10 people) and that the room was too noisy. She suggested a bigger room with more private meeting space. Novotny reported that visitors to the Research and Statistics Committee meeting were turned off by the size of the meeting. Arthur observed that the all-committee meeting was meant to facilitate communication among committees and between the committees and the board, and noted that the improved communication actually made our section review much easier. We will need further discussion to work out the problems, retain the advantages of an all-committee meeting, and promote these advantages to different committees, discussion groups, and individual members.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:00.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary A. Hollerich